Some residents oppose plans for gun range near Firestone

FIRESTONE, Colo. — Some residents in Northern Colorado hope they can shoot down a proposed gun range in the town of Firestone.

The developer of the Second Amendment Firearms Experience or SAFE presented his site plan to the town Tuesday night.

“We hear the birds. We hear the cows. It’s nice and quiet here right now. If that happens, it won’t be,” says Mead resident Ed Saunders.

Saunders worries about the din of gun fire blasting from a proposed shooting range in nearby Firestone. He says the gun range will be about two miles from his home.

“My God, we’ve got a house away from that that’s going to look down the barrel of 150 weapons. That’s the equivalent of a light combat Marine infantry company training in your back yard,” says Mead resident Bruce Wilson.

Wilson and Saunders are part of a group, they say of up to 200 residents, opposed to the plan. But they don’t live in Firestone and have no say on the project.

They say that is unfair because they will be impacted by it nonetheless.

Firestone is going through the process of possibly annexing the proposed gun range’s 900 acres into the town’s limits. The more exact location is north of Colo. Highway 66 and east of Weld County Rd. 17.

These residents worry not just about noise, but about effects on wildlife and property values.

“We’ve taken great pains to assure we are not bad neighbors to the community,” says gun range developer Ron Abramson.

He says the 900-acre facility will feature 150 firing lines.

But 70 percent of shooting will be inside a 65,000-square-foot covered range.

And outside, the natural landscape of 50- to 100-foot bluffs will help reduce noise–along with manmade mitigation.

“We’ve partnered with a company by using space age technology in absorbing gunshot sounds out of the air. We’ve got over-sized berms to assure sounds stay on the property,” says Abramson.

Users will also stand under shooting sheds with acoustical barriers. And behind each range is acoustical fencing.

He says they are going above and beyond what any other gun range in the state does–and those other facilities have no issues with neighbors–and they are in much more populated areas.

As for wildlife, Abramson says the gun range will actually preserve it.

“Many people in this community think we are the best users of that property. We only touch one percent of the land. That property could be used for a housing development, commercial, industrial. Instead it will be preserved. Ninety-nine percent will be preserved,” he says.

The Firestone Town Board is expected to vote on annexing the property Feb. 13.

If approved, Abramson can move ahead with breaking ground and opening the gun range this summer.


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